Posted March 05, 2010, at 8:33 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The following correction was appended to this story, and the online version reflects those changes:
A story that ran on Page A1 on March 6-7 about child abuse fatalities requires clarification. A statement by Dr. Lawrence Ricci of Portland asserted that across the U.S. fathers and father figures are more likely to kill children. Ricci said Thursday his statement referred specifically to abused children who died of head trauma. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mothers and female partners of a parent were identified as perpetrators in 27.4 percent of fatalities involving child maltreatment in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, while 19 percent of perpetrators were identified as fathers or male partners of a parent.
BANGOR, Maine — Fathers and father figures are most often the perpetrators of severe physical abuse of children that results in death in Maine, according to law enforcement and child abuse authorities.
On Feb. 23, Damien Christopher Lynn became the first Maine child to die this year as the result of severe abuse. He is the 12th child under age 18 to die as the result of homicide in the state since 2005.
According to authorities, Damien Lynn suffered injuries including brain trauma, a broken arm and broken ribs.
The man police have accused of killing the boy, Edgard Anziani, was the boyfriend of Damien’s mother. He lived on and off with the mother and child for four months before the homicide, according to court records. Anziani, who is from Lawrence, Mass., was arrested by federal authorities Monday in Bladensburg, Md. He waived extradition and is expected to appear in a Bangor court next week.
Statistics maintained by the Maine Department of Public Safety show that 12 children have died as the result of homicide or manslaughter over the past five years. The numbers show that the youngest, the most vulnerable, are most at risk. Eight victims were under age 3, and most of the children died at the hands of a parent, stepparent or the partner of a parent, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
“We average about 24 homicides over the course of a year, and in a typical year, we usually have at least a couple that are children,” McCausland said.
The exception was in 2008, McCausland said, when five children were murdered in Maine.
“The vast majority are children who died at the hands of a young man, usually the father or the mother’s boyfriend,” he said.
Could this be the reason that LE focused on Justin so early in the investigation? The reason that LE decided an abduction never happened? If you go by the percentages you wouldn't look very hard at the kidnapping scenario. You would look at the possibility of an accidental death or even intentional death as more likely to have happend. Could they have overlooked some evidence because of it? If you have a body I would think it would be easier to prove foul play. No matter what they do if they make an arrest and a family friend or relative took Ayla, they surely would come forward with Ayla. If it goes with the way of the percentages it will all play out in the courts, and prayerfully Ayla will come home.
Please keep Ayla in your prayers, and comment on what you think has happened. We need to keep Ayla's name out there.
LIGHTING THE WAY HOME FOR AYLA
Please join in, everyone is invited to join us in “Lighting The Way Home For Ayla” awareness event. My front patio light will be on for Ayla.
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